Over the weekend, a US woman reportedly found herself locked into a church which had been considered empty. So, bypassing any usual train of thought, she ousted a good old-fashioned phone call and replaced it with a tweet. Yes that’s right – she tweeted her situation, rather than message or phone for help. Is anyone else somewhat mind-boggled?
But wait, because the story gets better. Rather than spend her time awaiting rescue by seeking out potential escape options, she instead continued to post photos and videos of the situation to her (no doubt enthralled) Twitter followers.
Now, I am all for social media. It comes with its problems but it also results in a lot of good. However sometimes I wish our society wasn’t so caught up in it all to such a beyond-moderate extent! This case for example, seems to point to a few main issues.
One – the voyeuristic or always-on-display aspect of our society. I often feel that instead of living through an event, we are so distracted by trying to document it with Instagram or Facebook-perfect photos that really, we miss out on actually enjoying the moment. Or we get sidetracked by what everyone else would see in this situation and how many likes we might get, from what we could have been doing (in this case, phoning for help or escaping).
Two – oversharing is becoming much too common. Not everyone needs to know every detail of your life! There was once a time when certain aspects of your existence were intimate, and I think it worked just fine. Not to mention that we also were more aware of what kinds of information people would actually be interested in hearing about, rather than throwing anything and everything their way.
This isn’t the first time that this kind of thing has happened – for example, a cyclist in 2010 turned to her Twitter followers when she had been injured in the bush and couldn’t get phone service. In that case, social media is definitely helpful, providing an extra means of contact.
What’s your take on it all? Was tweeting for help one step too far when phoning was an option? Or should I just get with the times and accept that people want to use social media more than others forms of contact?